I’m always happy to be in either Paris or Amsterdam when an Instameet takes place, but my frequent travel over the last fews years hasn’t always allowed me to attend. This Spring, I knew the Worldwide Instameet was coming up (when many meet ups take place around the world all in one weekend) but hadn’t given much thought to whether I would attend. While it’s fun to meet other Instagrammers, the routes are not always conducive to my style of photography, so I was thrilled when I was privately invited to attend the IGers Versailles Instameet with a special excursion to the Yvelines department. I knew it would be a long day with two-plus hours of round trip-travel, but the invitation had four enticing sites for us to visit, so I couldn’t say no. Before I give all the fun details of our day (stay tuned for that), I’ll simply share a few Waterlogues from the photos I posted on Instagram so far. These were all taken at the enchanting Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay. This should be at the top of everyone’s Paris Day Trip list.
Is this one of those “sorry not sorry” times? Maybe. Spring in Paris is very pink, but is it up to me to apologize for it? It’s widely known that tourists flock to Paris in Spring to frame beautiful landmarks in the cherry blossoms that take over the city for a couple of weeks a year. This year, despite a very mild winter, the cherry blossoms came later than usual (in mid-April) but were utter perfection, as always. Here are three images from my favorite places to blossom hunt in Paris.
Beautiful shades of pink all over Paris to greet me upon my return!
I especially loved the shot of Notre Dame in the distance, as I was shooting the Cathedral with the cherry blossom in the foreground only to step back and notice the Falling Off Bicycles logo, the green bicycle surrounded by flowers. Naturally, I shot a dozen more photos from the new position.
More colors popping up around Paris, plus some I just love ay any time of year. Follow me on Instagram to see the originals of these photos: @fallingoffbicycles.
If you haven’t been to rue Crémieux near Gare de Lyon, be sure to add it to your list. The unique street’s colorful façades make a great background for a beautiful photoshoot. I’ll do a post on rue Crémieux soon to show it’s many beautiful façades and colors.
This week, I have a hodgepodge of images to share from my recent visit to Paris. Weather was a bit all over the place that week, but all three of these very different locations are great for any time of the year or time of day. The roof of Galeries Lafayette is one of my favorite places to look over this beautiful city. Even though it’s not very high up, its proximity to such places as the Opéra Garnier give it an incredible look on the city.
The second image is from a spot I had to myself one freezing cold morning in March. Lately, I’m enjoying the Panthéon very much (now that the scaffolding is down), so I love that it’s a delicate piece of the backdrop beyond an empty Jardin du Luxembourg.
The final place is a new “hotspot” in Paris that is around the corner from my old apartment called Institut de Bonté. Bounty, indeed! I may have gone broke if this place had been open while I was living there. 😉 It’s right on Canal Saint Martin, so it’s in an ideal location for the droves of locals who love the Bohemian atmosphere of the 10th arrondissement.
When I was booking travel early in the year, I decided I would attempt to see two phases of Spring in Paris… early and a few weeks later. And if that didn’t work, then hopefully I would at least see one phase of Spring in mid-March or mid-April. Well, turns out I timed the first part of it perfectly and was able to see magnolias in bloom all over the city. My goodness, it was beautiful! I keep a long list by now of my favorite spots to shoot in the various seasons, which I was hitting one by one all the while checking the status of the next round of blooming trees. Looking forward to round two in a couple more weeks.
Once upon a time, I lived on this block. In fact, in May 2013, I arrived loaded down with luggage at 8 rue de la Grange aux Belles, that red door at the far right of the photo. I had been to the 10th arrondissement plenty of times before, but committing to living there wasn’t easy for me. My experience with the 10th was that it is run down and rather uninteresting, despite the lovely (albeit green-tinted) Canal Saint Martin that runs through part of it. Nevertheless, I signed the paperwork and took the plunge to live there, my to-be landlord assuring me with the help of this document that the neighborhood’s Bohemian crowds and new boutiques popping up, that his neighborhood is the new “it” quartier. The unwelcoming paint-chipped decrepit door and grungy tabac and bar just steps away notwithstanding, he was right… our neighborhood, and even most of our immediate neighbors were nothing short of charming. This area represented a Paris I did not really know yet and was suddenly eager to discover.
Still, there are improvements to be made here and there in the neighborhood. I always appreciated the beautiful florist Bleuet Coquelicot and how they literally spread the beauty up and down the block. What’s not to love about a row of colorful façades and plant-filled pots lining the street? It gives people reason to sit outside the neighboring establishments on even the grayest of days.
There’s nothing to analyze today. I just wish to celebrate the pure beauty that is Spring blossoms. Yes, they are especially beautiful with the lace of the ironwork on the Eiffel Tower or a charming Parisian façade in the background, but they are also astonishing beautiful sitting gently on each branch as they do. Spring always helps me appreciate the present moment and the incredibly beauty that surrounds us at every turn. We need only pause and reflect on it.
Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
~ Gustav Mahler
After all the cherry blossom petals have fallen and the tulips are even nearing their end (in places other than Holland where they aren’t so ubiquitous), the wisteria begins popping out here and there against those beautiful Parisian façades, making for so many charming shots. Here is this week’s Waterlogue version of one of my favorite places to take in the some of that glorious lavender wisteria, Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole. Check for the photograph version of this shot next Wednesday on Instagram. Follow me at: @fallingoffbicycles